Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hey! I Know That Guy!!

So...apparently there is a chance that an asteroid will hit Mars sometime at the end of next month. Up until a few days ago, there was a 1 in 75 chance that this might happen. That probability changed to 1 in 25 a few days ago thanks to research done by my brother-in-law, Dr. Andy Puckett, who has a PhD in Astronomy and is on staff at the University of Alaska in Anchorage. This research got him mentioned in a NASA press release and on NPR's Science Friday. He was also mentioned in an Associated Press story where they mistakenly referred to him as a PhD student. For the full story, visit the Puckett family blog here.

Here is Andy's explanation of the photo above:
SDSS image of 2007 WD5. This "precovery" image extended the observed arc from 29 to 41 days, and increased the probability of impact with Mars from 1-in-75 to 1-in-25. That's 4%! (The most likely result will still be a near-miss, but we should know more in early January.)

Way to go Andy!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Shannon's Top Twelve of 2007

Hey Everyone!

Because of the holidays, Oddwalk is not blogging as much as we usually do. Instead of an entirely new blog post, I've decided to give you my top 12 blog posts of the year. It isn't so much a collective top 12 as it is a top post for each month. Feel free to disagree and let us know about it! Here you go:

June - The Vatican Drives It's Point Home

July - Madeleine Tries To Understand The Seventies

August - Oddwalk's Big Announcement

September - Orin Scandalizes An Entire Audience

October - Orin Finds Out What Happens When A Ford Escort Reaches 200,000 Miles

November - An Alabama Parish Feels the Keytar Mystique

December - A Fall Filled With Large Animals

There are a lot of other great posts that I could have mentioned. These are just a few of my favorites. Thanks to all of those who check in with us regularly!


Monday, December 24, 2007

Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord!

Here's hoping your Christmas holiday is filled with family and peace. Please keep our families in your prayers as we keep all of you in ours.

Merry Christmas from the Oddwalk Family!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Saw this over at Gene's blog (   Funny Stuff!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thanks to for bringing this website to our attention -- build your vocabulary and earn rice for the United Nations World Food Program!  All for free!

Happy 80th Birthday, Orin's Mom

Orin's mom Eva (pictured, she's the one on the right) turns 80 years old today!  Yay, mom!

To send her birthday greetings, drop a line to

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

You'd Better Watch Out

Click here to watch Apple's Christmastime "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" ad.  Or don't.  Just don't say we didn't warn you when you get the words wrong at your next holiday sing-a-long party.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tree Trimming Party 2007

Erin and Orin held their annual Tree Trimming Party on Saturday, despite the snowstorm that came through St. Louis.  (Note to any actual Minnesotans reading this - it was 7 inches of snow.  Yes, I know, but down here that qualifies as a snowstorm.)

The tree was successfully trimmed, and instead of the usual gingerbread house, a gingerbread church was decorated this year, steeple and all.

The last time we tried to create a gingerbread church, a couple years ago, the gingerbread had not baked long enough and began to bend and collapse under the weight of the steeple and decorations.  This year: so far so good.  If we can keep the dogs away from it, so much the better.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas and CD Release Concert

Mark your calendars for Saturday, January 5th. On that night, Oddwalk will perform a concert at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville to celebrate the holidays and the release of "Walk Away Different" , our new CD with GIA Publications. The show will be held in the Shrine's Visitors Center and will feature a full band.

This is a great opportunity to gather everyone you know and head out for a night of music and fun. Our show promises to feature lots of audience participation, a bunch Oddwalk favorites (we have a bunch?), and a few surprises. The concert will begin at 7pm and will run until around 8:30pm.

The Visitors Center also features a gift shop and a restaurant so you can plan to come and make a night of it.

We hope you can make it. It should be a great night!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Front Page News

Hey!  Oddwalk's New CD "Walk Away Different" has made the front page of the GIA Publications website!  (You may have to click the"Sacred Music" to get there, then look under "Featured Products".)  That's right, we're now officially awesome.

Did you know that "Walk Away Different" is the perfect Christmas present for every single person you know, and that it also makes a nice stocking stuffer?  It's true!  And we also have lots of other crap merchandise - shirts, magnets, buttons - that will make everyone's hearts glow with an Oddwalkian spirit of Christmas.  Order now to ensure delivery by Groundhogs Day!  No, wait - by, um... by Christmas!  Yeah, that's it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Has someone been posting weird things that we don't know about?

We were a bit concerned when we noticed someone had found our blog merely by googling this phrase:

"natal celebration devoid of colour, rather albino, as a hallucinatory phenomenon for me"

until we realized they were looking for and had found the Christmas Music Quiz we posted a couple years ago. Phew.

With One Final Click...

...of the "submit" button, Orin has finished his last class at Aquinas Institute of Theology. Yay! While happy and relieved, there is still the matter (in the Spring) of the major paper and the written and oral exit exams... But still! Classroom lectures, note-taking, etc. — things of the past!

When I started school, I posted my first small assignment as it tells a story I often tell when out Oddwalking. I won't bother posting this last assignment, a take-home Church History final exam, unless anyone really wants to know what I think about the Christological divide between Cyril and Nestorius, the far-reaching effects of the Fourth Lateran Council, or whether or not Christianity can be described as a European religion.

Instead, let me share this parting thought with you, though we've already noted it's not entirely true:

"No more pencils! No more books!
No more teacher's dirty looks!"

Pictured is Fr. Dominic Holtz, OP, my Church History professor and academic adviser. He's nicer and funnier than this picture would lead you to believe. Picture swiped from

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Great Ice Storm of '07

As many of you know, the midwest was hit hard by an ice storm this weekend. Many people are without power and therefore (in most cases), without heat as well. We know a good number of people in and around Fulton, including Erin and I, who are having to bounce from house to house in order to stay warm, get a shower, and have a comfortable place to eat and relax. Some people, however, don't have a home to begin with and are just looking for a place to get in out of the cold. We want to make sure we keep all of these folks in our prayers.

For those faithful Oddblog watchers who don't happen to live in the midwest, I snapped a few pictures of trees with my phone to give you a sense of the destruction caused by the ice storm. This is representative of the scene around much of this part of Missouri:

This is a small tree just outside the St. Peter parish office and church where I work:

Here is another tree on Missouri's Capital grounds which is across from St. Peter Church:

Here is the same tree from a different angle. Notice the branches lying flat on the ground. There are thousands of trees just like this one all over mid-Missouri:

Many of the trees were not damaged and were made beautiful with an ice covering. This tree is from Dan and Bobbie Ramsay's (Erin's parents) back yard in Holts Summit, MO:

Mostly ice and very little snow means it's too dangerous to go outside. These conditions can make a tree year-old do this:

Some of us were fortunate enough to not be too strongly affected by these storms. If you can count yourself in that group, please consider making a donation to your local shelter or food bank. This can include money, clothing, blankets, coats, food, etc.


Oddwalk and Large Animal Statuary

A week ago, Oddwalk visited the Diocese of Norwich, CT for a couple evenings of Advent fun and prayer. During free time one day, we visited an OMI retreat house in Willimantic and Oddwalk friend Fr. Chava Gonzales. As we were leaving the site, our host, Janet, suggested we should visit the frog bridge while we were close.

This sounded like something Oddwalk should do.

The story (one of may, I'm told) is that the frogs saved the town one night during the American Revolution. British soldiers were advancing on the town under cover of darkness. The frogs, however, were awakened by them, and made so much noise that the townspeople were alerted, and rose to defend themselves.

The frogs are sitting on giant spools, as thread-making was once the city's main industry.

Oddwalk has a history with encountering giant animals on trips. Recall a few months ago when we met a giant pheasant just outside of Huron, SD?

Here's a reminder:

And here's last week (Notice any similarities?):

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Nun Too Good

If this would have happened when I was in Catholic school, my head would have exploded:
Nun reads list of curse words to kids
The Associated Press

GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. --Sister Kathy Avery won't put up with swearing on the playground at her school, and she's not above repeating the offending language to make sure everyone understands which words she won't tolerate.
The principal of St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic School had students stay after a Mass last month and informed the fifth- through eighth-graders that she has a zero-tolerance policy for cursing.
Just in case anyone wasn't sure what she was talking about, Avery read off a list of the very words and phrases that she was banning.
"It got a little quiet in church" during her talk, she told the Detroit Free Press.
Some parents were shocked, but others applauded, the newspaper said.
"In a way you would think a nun would shy away from something like that, but she's very open with the children, very clear in her messages," said Margaret Roache, chairperson of the school commission.
Roache's sixth-grade son was there when Avery read the list of banned words.
"When I asked him to give me a sample of it, he said 'Oh, no, I can't say it!'" Roache said. "I thought it was great."
A representative of the Archdiocese of Detroit declined to comment Sunday.
Cuss words aren't the only things that set Avery off. She's also banned the words "stupid" and "boring."

Teenagers In My Car's been a while since we've posted anything. Sorry about that. We'll post something new very soon.

Until then, and in honor of the winter storm that visited us over the weekend, please enjoy a performance of "Teenagers In My Car", recorded in January at Austin Diocesan Youth Conference in Waco, TX.

Monday, December 3, 2007

When Nuns Go Crazy

Or at least do Matilda the Gorilla with Oddwalk on stage in Huron, South Dakota:

For the full story (a whole line of which is devoted to Oddwalk!), clicky here.  (You have to click on the "continued..." link at the bottom to get to the "Oddwalk was there too" line about us...)